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World Economic Forum Ranks Canada Ahead of US, Japan, UK on IP Protection

In recent years, several lobby groups (along with the U.S. government) have worked extremely hard to convince the Canadian public that Canadian intellectual property laws are substandard, leading to claims that investment in Canada is harmed because of our legal framework. Bill C-32 is obviously a response to that pressure, yet a new report from the World Economic Forum – not exactly a group of radical extremists – has found that executives actually rank Canadian intellectual property protection ahead of the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan, and most of Europe.  The WEF’s Global Competitiveness Report ranked Canada 13th for IP protection, including anti-counterfeiting measures.  That is ahead of Australia (14th), Norway (16th), United Kingdom (17th), Japan (21st), and the United States (24th).  Moreover, the 13th place rank represents an improvement from 18th last year.

The number are not scientific.  Rather, they are the result of the World Economic Forum’s Executive Survey.  In other words, once we get past the lobby spin about what company’s think of Canadian IP laws, the executives themselves rank Canada ahead of the very countries we are told we need to emulate.  None of this suggests that we should not engage in IP reform, including copyright reform.  There is a need for change to Canadian copyright.  But reform should proceed on the basis of the national interest and maintaining the copyright balance, not as a result of the attempts to paint Canada as an international laggard whose reputation is harmed by its legal framework.

6 Comments

  1. Wow
    24th for the U.S.! Wow. DMCA inadequate or what!? And C-32 actually wants to emulate that piece of horse turd?

  2. Now how do we get this message into the mainstream understanding?

  3. Typical …
    OK let me get this straight …

    The USA, who is significantly behind most other western nations on IP protection, is trying to use ACTA to force changes to the domestic laws of those countries who rank better?

    AND without having to make any changes to their own laws (lest they face the wrath of congress in a bi-election year)?

    AT THE SAME TIME their own legislative review committee has ruled some of the things they are pushing for in ACTA are actually fair use in their OWN country?

    Yup, sounds about like them alright. 0_o Why is our government capitulating to them with C-32? I can only wonder and hope for saner heads to prevail, or at least political opposition to muster.


  4. Such legislation as DMCA and C-32 breeds bitterness and disrespect which does nothing but hurt the industry. In Canada, for the most part, we respect artists and as such tend to be more apt to buy content. That’s not to say there is no copyright infringment in Canada (Careful to not use the word “piracy”…which is really not correct), only that we may be more likely to buy content than many other contries. C-32 will do nothing but hurt the industry and while lobby groups will undoubtedly produce stats showing how much it’s helping, anyone can produce any results they want with clever accounting and lots of backing. We’ll almost surely see our position fall on the WEF list. A fall of consumer respect for IP due to legislation which is perceived to be heavy-handed and unfair will undoubtedly affect how executives see Canada. In reality, those who buy content will likely continue to do so and those who download it will almost certainly continue to find ways and work-arounds to do so, regardless of what the law says.

    Our entertainment industry is playing a very dangerous game becuase once that respect is lost, they will be in a position like in the US where no amount of legislation will help them. They could give their content away in the US and the consumer population would still have no respect for them. Most people I know, including myself, WILL NOT buy locked down content. I will turn to other sources if and when the local content gets locked. I already listen to primarily European music, which I turned to after buying several locked CDs from popular Canadian artists. Why? They often have more creative control and their music is generally easily available DRM-free on-line and it’s often better than much of the crap “formula” music produced here (Here being both Canada and the US).

    I’m ranting now…I better go home… ūüėÄ

  5. Splat ..
    Yup, DRM will only continue to hurt the artists while the media distributors try to hold onto control by the tips of their fingers, eventually dragging a whole bunch of artists with them as they plunge to the pavement.

    The smart ones will have already freed themselves from their clutches and instead restored a healthy relationship with their fans.

    “This is your media … this is your media on DRM”

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